3.12.2014

PARFUND promotes integrated rice-duck farming

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 11 (PIA) – The Philippine Agrarian Reform Foundation for National Development, Inc. (PARFUND) encourages farmers to engage in integrated rice-duck farming system (IRDFS).

This year’s 8th International Rice-Duck Conference held in one of the convention centers in this city on March 10-14, 2014, the IRDFS technology was introduced as an environmentally friendly farming technique where ducks are used as a natural pesticide.

The IRDFS is about growing rice and ducks together in an integrated paddy field. The ducks eat the harmful insects and weeds, thus eliminating the need for pesticides and herbicides. The paddling movement of the ducks stimulates the rice plants to produce massive fillers, while the duck manure naturally fertilizes the soil.

“The rice-duck farming has increased rice productivity up to 9 tons per hectare, while reducing the cost of production by 30 percent,” bared Jose Apollo Pacamalan, the chief operations officer of PARFUND.

Accordingly, it is the only organic rice farming technology that is being adopted on a large scale.

In addition, framers gain extra income from the sale of duck meat and duck eggs, whether raw or processed into salted egg or ‘balut’, a local Filipino delicacy that is in very high demand.

Pacamalan also pointed out that in a medium to long-term result, the adoption of the IRDFS will contribute to improving the quality of life of farmers, as evidenced by increased savings and income, better family nutrition (chemical-free rice, duck, duck meat and duck eggs), and a healthier lifestyle brought about by less exposure to harmful chemicals.

For the duration of said conference, IRDFS practitioners in the Philippines will also share their successful experiences and knowledge in implementing rice-duck farming. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


CSC Caraga issues guidelines for grant of sanggunian member eligibility

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 11 (PIA) – Under the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 10156, the Civil Service Commission (CSC)-Caraga now confers upon members of the sangguniang bayan, sangguniang panlungsod, and sangguniang panlalawigan, the appropriate civil service eligibility.

As stipulated, a sanggunian member who has served for an aggregate period of six years and who has at least earned 72 units in any baccalaureate degree shall be granted a sanggunian member first level eligibility equivalent to a Career Service Sub-Professional Eligibility.

A sangguniann member second level eligibility which corresponds to a Career Service Professional Eligibility will also be granted to those who have served for an aggregate period of nine years and has graduated/completed a baccalaureate degree.

CSC-Caraga regional director Resurreccion Pueyo said that the filing period is until May 1, 2018 for sanggunian members who have completed the service requirement on May 1, 2013 or earlier; within four years from the completion of the service requirement for incumbent sanggunian members as of May 2013 and have completed the service requirement in May 2013; and within two years upon meeting the service requirement for those who are elected in May 13, 2013 and thereafter.

Pueyo also emphasized the services that are excluded from the computation of service rendered as sanggunian member - other positions held in the sanggunian whose functions do not belong to that of the sanggunian member as mandated by the Local Government Code of 1991; supposed election was recalled by appropriate authority; and services which have already been included in the computation of the aggregate years for the grant of the sangguninan member first level eligibility.

Applicants may submit duly accomplished application form and documentary requirements at CSC Caraga regional office, Doongan Road in this city or call Public Assistance Telefax nos. 342-6089, 815-3370, 225-6097 for further inquiries. (VLG/PIA-Caraga)


Disaster Preparedness and Prevention seminar for volunteers set in Surigao City

By Susil D. Ragas & Annette P. Villaces

SURIGAO CITY, Mar. 11 (PIA) – The city government here will conduct a one-day seminar on Disaster Preparedness and Prevention to Barangay Organization Security Service (BOSS) volunteers on March 12, 2014 at the City Cultural Center, this city.

The activity aims to upgrade the involvement of each barangay during calamities and enhance the knowledge of the BOSS volunteers on community-based disaster risk reduction and management like crime prevention, signals and preparedness measures during typhoon, flooding, earthquake, tsunami, and storm surge.

The activity will highlight Republic Act 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 and its salient features.

The event is initiated by the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and local government unit of Surigao City through the support of City Mayor Ernesto T. Matugas. (SDR/MICO/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


60 Caraga LGUs get P82M PCF

By Don Manuelo O. Patrimonio

BUTUAN CITY, Mar. 11 (PIA) - A total of 82 Million pesos worth of Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) checks were issued by the Department of the Interior and Local Government – Caraga Regional Office (DILG 13) for 60 Local Government Units (LGUs) distributed during the series of Provincial Validation Activities of the Local Poverty Reduction Action Plan (LPRAP) in the months of January and February 2014.

The checks were for PCF projects proposed in 2013 for implementation this year, 2014. PCF is an incentive mechanism for LGUs with excellent performance in local governance. The portfolio of projects in the region included 34 projects totaling P42 Million for Local Economic Development; 15 projects totaling P27 Million for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management – Climate Change Adaptation (DRRM-CCA); eight projects totaling P10 Million for Ecological Solid Waste Management (ESWM); and two projects totaling P2 Million for achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

The 60 Caraga LGUs were the second to sixth class provinces, municipalities and cities which attained silver grade during the 2012 Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH) assessment. These are broken down into 2 provinces; 5 component cities; and 53 municipalities. Of the provinces, Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur were not among the prioritized provinces as they are not second to sixth class provinces. The Province of Dinagat Islands was not included in the 2012 SGH as it has not yet reclaimed its provincial status during the assessment.

The LGUs were those that have: (1) unqualified or qualified opinion rendered by the Commission on Audit on the LGU’s 2011 Financial Statements; (2) full compliance to the Full Disclosure Policy of local budget and finances, bids and public offerings; (3) organized and functional Bids and Awards Committees (BAC) pursuant to the standards set by law; (4) compliance to the on-line procurement posting requirement through the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS); and (5) excellent or good rating as indicated in the Report Card Survey on the implementation of the Anti-Red Tape Act for 2012.

Under PCF, provinces shall receive P7 Million, cities P3 Million, and municipalities P1 Million each.

Ten Surigao del Sur LGUs received their checks during their LPRAP Provincial Validation on January 30 at the Shacene Grand Ballroom in Tandag City. These were: Tandag City, Barobo, Bayabas, Lanuza, Lianga, Cortes, Bislig City, Cagwait, Carmen and Hinatuan. Of the aggregate amount of P20 Million for the province, P7 Million was for LED (7 projects); P7 Million on ESWM (5 projects); P5 Million DRRM-CCA (3 projects), and P1 Million on MDG (1 project).

Four Agusan del Sur LGUs received their checks on February 5, again during their provincial validation in Mabe’s Savory Place, Barangay 1, San Francisco. These were: Talacogon, Veruela, Santa Josefa and Bayugan City. Of the aggregate amount of P7 Million for the province, P5 Million was for DRRM-CCA (3 projects), and P2 Million on LED (2 projects).

All eleven Agusan del Norte PCF 2013 LGUs got their checks during the LPRAP Validation as well. It was on  February 7 at the Capitol Provincial Training Center, Butuan City. These were: the province of Agusan del Norte and the municipalities of Carmen, Jabonga, Kitcharao, Las Nieves, Magallanes, Nasipit, RTR, Santiago, Tubay and Cabadbaran City. Of the aggregate amount of P19 Million for the province, P1 Million was for DRRM-CCA (1 project), and P18 Million on LED (10 projects).

Four Surigao del Norte LGUs received theirs during the February 12 LPRAP Validation at the Surigao City Cultural Center. These were: Mainit, Bacuag, San Francisco and Gigaquit. Of the aggregate amount of P 28 Million for the province, 14 Million was for DRRM-CCA (6 projects), P13 Million on LED (13 projects), and P1 Million on ESWM (1 project).

Five other Surigao del Norte LGUs received their PCF checks from the DILG Regional Office. Pilar and Alegria received theirs on February 14; San Benito on Feb 18; and Burgos and Sta. Monica on Feb 21. 

All seven municipalities of the Province of Dinagat Islands were given their checks during their provincial validation on February 11 at the Surigao City Cultural Center, also during their LPRAP Validation. The seven municipalities are: Basilisa, Cagdianao, Dinagat, Libjo, Loreto, Tubajon and San Jose. Of the aggregate amount of P7 Million for the province, P2 Million was for LED (2 projects); P2 Million on ESWM (2 projects); P2 Million DRRM-CCA (2 projects), and P1 Million on MDG (1 project).

As of this writing, there are still 19 PCF checks unclaimed in the DILG Regional Office. (DILG-13/PIA-Caraga)


Iron-fortified rice is best for school children

By Czarina Teresita S. Martinez

MANILA, Mar. 11 (PIA) - The dietary component of the 7th National Nutrition Survey (NNS) by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) affirmed that rice is still the top most frequently consumed food among school children six to twelve years old.

About 94 percent of the children surveyed say that they eat rice almost three times a day. The survey reported that the average rice consumed by the school-age children daily is 235 grams or about 1 ½ cups.

On the other hand, the biochemical component of the 7th NNS found that there are 2 in every 10 school-aged children who are suffering from iron deficiency anemia.

Based on the World Health Organization (WHO) standard, the anemia status of the Filipino school-aged children is classified as “of moderate public health significance”. The WHO says that iron deficiency is a major cause of anemia.

Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) occurs when children do not eat enough food that contains iron  and when the body is not able to absorb sufficient amount of iron needed by the body.

Children suffering from IDA may show poor physical, mental, and overall school performance. IDA may be prevented if school-aged children are given iron-rich like liver, granular organs, red meats, poultry, and fish.

Other sources of iron from plants are nuts and beans like squash seeds, chickpeas, cowpeas, white beans, red beans, lentils, soybeans. Green leafy vegetables such as malunggay leaves, kulitis, talilum, gabi, saluyot, kinchay and kamote are also sources of iron.

It is best to eat iron-rich food together with foods rich in vitamin C like citrus fruits to help the body absorb iron from plant sources.

Iron fortified rice (IFR) is an excellent source of iron. The Philippines has adopted food fortification as one of the strategies in fighting IDA.

Philippine lawmakers recognize that food fortification is one of the strategies in fighting micronutrient malnutrition. Thus, R.A. 8976 known as the "Philippine Food Fortification Act of 2000" is the legal basis for the mandatory food fortification of rice with iron, along with other staple food items like flour, sugar and cooking oil.

Food fortification is the addition of nutrients at levels above the natural state for commonly consumed food items. Specific micronutrients are added to the food that is widely consumed by at-risk groups.

Rice is widely consumed by school-aged children, so it is an excellent food vehicle for iron fortification.

The FNRI Food Research and Development Group (FRDG) developed an improved technology on iron-fortified rice. It developed an iron rice pre-mix (IRP) made from rice flour mixed with micronized iron fortificant. The mixture is passed through the hot extruder to form a rice-shaped kernel. The iron rice premix is added to ordinary rice at one is to two hundred (1:200) ratio or 10 grams IFP to two kilos of ordinary rice.

Iron-fortified rice is cooked in the same way as ordinary rice. In a sensory evaluation conducted among trained panelists, they gave cooked IFR a rating of like moderately to like very much.   The FNRI is vigorously promoting iron rice pre-mix and iron-fortified rice and is actively looking for partners who will invest and adopt the technology. (FNRI/PIA-Caraga)

For more information on food and nutrition, contact Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City, E-Mail: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph or mar_v_c@yahoo.com, Telefax: (02) 8372934, (02) 8273164, or call (02) 8372071 local 2296 or visit our website: http:www.fnri.dost.gov.ph (FNRI-DOST S&T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)